By Nick Giongco
Freddie Roach has a gut feeling that Miguel Cotto is not going to press the action against Manny Pacquiao but will resort to being a counter-puncher in a bid to mess up the Filipino’s all-out attacking style when they meet on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas. Roach’s eyes lit up when told about reports about Cotto utilizing a 24×24 ring instead of the standard 18×18 that fighters normally use in preparing for fights. “Cotto will try to be a counter-puncher and be like (Juan Manuel) Marquez,” Roach told Fightnews Wednesday afternoon as he was awaiting the arrival of Pacquiao at the Gerry Penalosa Boxing Gym in Mandaluyong, putting sense into reports that Cotto is indeed using an oversized ring to prepare for Pacquiao.
A slugger by nature, Cotto is said to be learning counter-punching moves in the hopes of emulating what Marquez did in his two fights with Pacquiao.
While Marquez battled Pacquiao to a draw in the first match and was narrowly beaten in the rematch, the crafty Mexican is the only fighter who has given Pacquiao so much pain and punishment as all the others—like the legendary Oscar De La Hoya and even the rock-hard Ricky Hatton—proved no match to the Filipino’s blinding speed and paralyzing power.
Pacquiao was expected to go between 10 to 15 rounds with the mitts yesterday as he enters the final phase of his training in the country.
Pacquiao and the rest of his team leave for the US on Saturday night so they could resume training on Monday under more familiar conditions at the Wild Card in Hollywood.